CBS | July 6th, 2017

Is sense of smell linked to being fatter or thinner?

Would you be willing to give up the smell of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies or a pizza right out of the oven if it meant slimming down? A new study showed that mice that lost their sense of smell didn’t gain weight even when they ate the same high-fat diet as mice that could smell and did gain […]

NIH BRAIN Publication Roundup | July 5th, 2017

Improved imaging technique reveals synaptic transmission at quantal resolution in fruit fly larvae

Synapses, including those using glutamate as a neurotransmitter, vary greatly in pre- and post-synaptic transmission properties. How differences in pre-synaptic release characteristics, short term plasticity, and homeostatic stability-promoting regulation relate to one another and to this diversity is poorly understood. At the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Ehud Isacoff and his group used the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ), […]

Berkeley News | July 5th, 2017

Smelling your food makes you fat

Our sense of smell is key to the enjoyment of food, so it may be no surprise that in experiments at the University of California, Berkeley, obese mice who lost their sense of smell also lost weight. What’s weird, however, is that these slimmed-down but smell-deficient mice ate the same amount of fatty food as […]

LA Times | July 5th, 2017

Does my sense of smell make me look fat? In mice, the answer seems to be yes

Having an exceptionally keen sense of smell would seem to be an unmitigated blessing: It can provide early warning of dangers, detect the presence of an attractive mate, and enhance the gustatory delight of a delicious meal. But when you’re a mouse (or, perhaps, a human) and fattening food is all around, a new study finds that […]

Science | July 5th, 2017

Mice shed weight when they can’t smell—but not because they stop eating

When you have a stuffy nose, a slice of freshly baked apple pie tastes like mush. But not being able to smell your food could have a surprising effect on your metabolism, potentially helping you remain thin even when you eat fatty foods, a new study in mice suggests. “This is a very exciting study, […]

Brain Changes Accompany Development of Metamemory from Childhood to Adolescence

Being able to assess our own memories helps us to avoid errors and prompts us to collect more information to fill the gaps. Psychologists know that this ability is present in elementary school-age children. Now a new study shows how this “metamemory” improves from childhood through adolescence, with accompanying changes in brain structure. The work […]

Berkeley News | July 27th, 2017

A mouse’s view of the world, seen through its whiskers

Mice, unlike cats and dogs, are able to move their whiskers to map out their surroundings, much as humans use their fingers to build a 3D picture of a darkened room. UC Berkeley researchers have for the first time reconstructed the whisker map a mouse creates of its surroundings in order to navigate its world, […]

Berkeley News | June 23rd, 2017

Kaoru Saijo awarded Pew scholar grant

Kaoru Saijo, an assistant professor of molecular and cell biology, will receive a four-year grant to investigate the role of the brain’s immune cells, called microglia, in the development of depression. Saijo will seek to determine whether mutations that alter gene activity in microglia lead to a sustained inflammatory response in the brain, whether such […]

NIH BRAIN Publication Roundup | June 20th, 2017

Advancements to functional imaging technique result in ultra-high resolution capture of human cortical columns

Despite numerous advances in fMRI technology, most components are optimized for the entire body. This makes safe, ultra-high resolution (UHR) imaging of columnar organization throughout the cortex of the human brain nearly impossible. At the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. David Feinberg and colleagues applied updates to magnetic gradients, receiver arrays, and pulse sequences of […]